February 10, 2022

Internationally recognized natural products chemist honored for outstanding contributions to dietary supplement product integrity

Rockville, Maryland, February 9, 2022 — AOAC INTERNATIONAL (AOAC) today announced Paula N. Brown, PhD as the recipient of the 2022 Harvey W. Wiley Award, the Association’s highest honor for lifetime scientific achievement.

Dr. Brown is an internationally recognized natural products chemist who has long excelled in the development and validation of analytical methods, quality standards, regulatory compliance, plant metabolomics, and chemotaxonomy. As Director of Applied Research for the British Columbia Institute of Technology’s Natural Health & Food Products Research Group, Dr. Brown focuses her research on the basic and applied science underlying natural health product (NHP) quality and manufacturing processes, along with the roles they play in human health, wellbeing, nutrition, longevity, and society.

Given the phytochemical complexity of natural products and dietary supplements sourced from botanicals, Dr. Brown has worked on developing analytical approaches to tackle issues related to quality, authenticity, and safety using chemometric models. Her research program at BCIT has contributed to nine Official Methods of Analysis of AOAC INTERNATIONAL related to dietary supplement methods.

“To have a scientist of the highest caliber like Dr. Brown be the recipient of the Wiley Award really underscores the prestige associated with AOAC’s highest scientific honor,” said Anthony Lupo, AOAC President. “Her methods development and validation work in the field of supplements and botanicals are shining examples of how our organization leads in so many important ways and how our members are on the forefront of analytical excellence.”

An AOAC member since 2003, Dr. Brown has chaired or served on 12 AOAC Expert Review Panels (ERPs) and served six years as General Referee of the AOAC Official Methods Committee for Dietary Supplements. She has also contributed to various AOAC task forces, working groups, and committees for dietary supplements, served on the editorial board of the Journal of AOAC INTERNATIONAL, and is the Journal’s current section editor for dietary supplements and natural products. Dr. Brown was named an AOAC Fellow in 2009.

“Paula has amassed a remarkable record of accomplishment in two decades, and her rate of productive output has only increased in the past five years,” said John H. Cardellina II, Brown’s colleague in the field. “She is resourceful and adaptable to challenges and changing circumstances. In every respect, she represents the very best characteristics of the Wiley awardees.”

Dr. Brown began her career more than 20 years ago at BCIT, where she established her research program and led projects on health policy, regulatory affairs, product formulation, botanical authentication, analytical method development & validation, applied chemometrics, bioanalysis, and therapeutic monitoring. She received her Bachelor of Science with Combined Honors in Biochemistry and Chemistry from Dalhousie University, Master of Science in Natural Product Synthesis from Simon Fraser University, and PhD in Natural Product Chemistry from the University of British Columbia. In addition to her current position as Director of Applied Research, Dr. Brown also sits as the Canada Research Chair in Phytoanalytics and serves as an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Biology at the University of British Columbia and a Visiting Professor at the Hunan University of Chinese-Medicine.

Dr. Brown is Co-Chair of Health Canada’s Scientific Advisory Committee on Health Products Containing Cannabis, Advisor to the American Botanical Council, a member of NSF’s Joint Committee for Dietary Supplements, which she chaired from 2007-2018, and an expert advisor to the USP Expert Committee for Botanical Dietary Supplements and Traditional Medicines and the American Herbal Pharmacopeia Advisory Board. She previously served as President of the NHP Research Society of Canada, inaugural member of the U.S. National Institutes for Health’s Product Integrity Working Group, policy advisor on the NHP Program Advisory Committee for Health Canada, and Chair of Health Canada’s Working group on Standards of Evidence for the Quality of Natural Health Products.

Dr. Brown was awarded the Norman R. Farnsworth Excellence in Botanical Research Award from the American Botanical Council in 2021. She also received the 2019 Waters Award for Innovations in Natural Product Research presented by the American Society of Pharmacognosy, the 2016 Neil Towers Award presented by the NHP Research Society of Canada, the American Herbal Products Association’s 2016 Herbal Insight Award, the 2011 Richard E. Schultes Research Award from Economic Botany, and the 2013 and 2020 Thieme Award Planta Medica Most Innovative Original Paper.

“The proper selection and implementation of analytical methods is essential for the assurance of product quality and safety” said Dr. Brown. “I am truly honoured to receive the AOAC Wiley Award and am grateful to my colleagues at BCIT and across the food and dietary supplement community for their many years of collaboration and support. In particular, the late Dr. Mark Roman, who served as Committee K Chair while I was General Referee for Dietary Supplements and Dr. Joseph Betz, whose Analytical Methods and Reference Materials Program at the NIH Office of Dietary Supplements has played key roles in advancing product quality standards.”

Dr. Brown is the author or coauthor of more than 85 peer-reviewed publications, book chapters, and monographs on aspects of analytical method development, quality assurance, and the chemical constituents of commercially important botanicals.

AOAC leadership will present Dr. Brown with the 2022 Wiley Award at the 2022 AOAC Annual Meeting & Exposition, August 26 – September 1, 2022 in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA. Read Dr. Brown’s abstract of her address titled The Confidence Game: Creating and Establishing Reliable Methods for Determining the Quality of Pretty Much Everything.